Ingredient Deep Dive: Vitamin A
Vitamin A is essential to healthy living and is naturally found in many foods. Vitamin A is important for skin, eye, immune and reproductive function. In 1996, it was discovered that when used topically, vitamin A is capable of reprogramming cellular function! If you want your skin to function at its peak and stay clear, strong, and healthy, vitamin A should be a staple in your skincare routine.
Vitamin A & Food
There are two different types of vitamin A. The first type is retinoids (preformed vitamin A) and is found in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. The second type is carotenoids (provitamin vitamin A) and it’s found in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based products.
The body does not make vitamin A so we must get it from other sources such as food.
Retinoids are found in:
- Dairy products (milk, butter, cheddar cheese)
- Beef liver
Carotenoids are found in:
- Sweet potatoes
- Leafy green vegetables
- Mangoes, apricots and plums
Vitamin A is also available in supplement form and is a common ingredient in many multivitamins.
Vitamin A & Skincare
Skin is a retinoid-responsive organ, which means it’s able to absorb vitamin A when applied topically. Vitamin A (retinol) is added to products such as moisturizers, sunscreen, anti-aging creams, and serums. Topical vitamin A works by thickening and stimulating the dermis-where collagen, elastin, and blood vessels live. The thicker skin reduces wrinkles and increases blood flow to the surface of the skin. Vitamin A is also a powerful antioxidant and can prevent cell damage and premature skin aging.
Vitamin A skincare helps improve:
- Wound healing-treating acne scarring
- Decreases sebum production to prevent acne
- Hydration- decreases wrinkles and promotes a healthier cellular membrane
- Exfoliates- leaving skin smooth and even
- Eradicates pre-cancerous skin lesions
Use with Caution
Too little vitamin A is dangerous to overall health. A lack of vitamin A can cause individuals to lose the ability to see in dim light, weaken the immune system, and may impair memory.
Prescription retinoids can be very strong and irritating, which may cause extreme dryness of the skin to occur. Since retinoids stimulate cell growth, they may also make skin more sensitive to sunlight. Using sunscreen and covering skin is essential to minimize the risk of burning and further irritation while using vitamin A. Eating or applying too much vitamin A can have harmful side effects, especially if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Make sure to talk to your doctor about vitamin A usage and your goals for overall health before implementing it into your routine.
Vitamin A & Olive + M
Olive + M is all about naturally occurring magic and harnesses the power of vitamin A in many of the formulas that we produce. Rosehip Oil, pomegranate oil, carrot seed oil, and sea buckthorn are known to contain high levels of Vitamin A and are showcased in Olive + M’s Face Oil, Cleansing Oil, Body Oil, Eye Serum, and Antioxidant Balm. The Antioxidant Balm is a Vitamin A jackpot, containing 3 of the 4 ingredients listed above! As if we needed another reason to love our star ingredient, olive oil contains Vitamin A (or retinol) too, so you’ll reap the skincare benefits of this mystical vitamin in any Olive + M product that you use.